A legacy of hope
Founded by the vision of one man, Robert Cooke Buckner, the vision of this ministry has always been to provide a place of hope for orphaned children, a home where they were fed, clothed, cared for and, most importantly, loved.
Buckner shared his story with others, people like you, and soon they began to create their own Buckner story through their support. In 1879, he collected his first funds, $27, when he passed a hat among a group visiting under the shade of an oak tree. The first dollar given was his very own.
Blessed with growth
By the end of that year, a few weeks before Christmas, three orphan children were brought to their new home in a horse-drawn wagon personally driven by “Father” Buckner, a nickname given him by the children. The ministry continued to grow as more people saw his vision and heard his story, eventually becoming what it is today – 139 years later – an international ministry bringing hope to tens of thousands of lives each year.
Serving the vulnerable
But even from those earliest days, the story of Buckner went far beyond how the organization helped people in need. It was and continues to be the story of how a community of love and support – you – responded and rallied around those most in need.
Throughout our 139-year story, one theme has rung true: Buckner has never done our work alone. From the very beginning, churches and families who wanted to shine hope on children and families partnered with and supported our cause.
Today is no different. One of our brightest personality traits is that we affiliate with people compelled by their faith to shine hope: People who can see the needs and are compelled to respond to them.
Our story is your story.
Marissa Breland had a dream for a better life for herself and daughter Addisyn: “I always dreamed of going to school and getting my [driver’s] license. But I didn’t see it happening any time soon. I’d been trying to do that for years, and it had been taking forever.” But through Buckner Family Pathways, she found hope and help.
Bernard Perez was adopted by his foster parents, Jennifer and Mace, who continue to foster other children. Jennifer says Bernard has embraced being a part of a loving family. “We feel that this is a whole-family ministry and he is a part of that now. We’ve opened our home twice since Bernard was adopted and both times he’s been a part of that decision. He’s seeing that this is what people who love Jesus do. We do radical things for Jesus and show love for others from hard places. It’s been a beautiful thing.”
John Ramsey lives with his wife Ann at Buckner Westminster Place in Longview, Texas. He’s devoted his entire life to serving the Lord as a pastor and international missionary. When he learned that Cuong Manh Tran, a local pastor of a Vietnamese Baptist congregation needed a kidney transplant, he prayed for a donor. That prayer ended in the question: “Why not me?”
Amanda Martinez, 14, lives in a world where the shocking is often considered normal. She and her family live in Dallas’ Bachman Lake area, where drugs, violence, prostitution and poverty are the norm. The area, just three square miles, is home to 82,000 people and has a CPS child removal rate twice that for Dallas County. When Amanda and her parents, including her mother Marta, right, looked for help, they looked to their local Buckner Family Hope Center
Amanda's mother, Marta, has a story of triumph of her own. When times were difficult for her family, she discovered skills, strength and joy she didn't know she had.